We asked Isanti mayoral candidates one question. Here’s how they responded.
With the Aug. 12 Primary Election approaching, the Isanti County News asked all primary candidates to answer the question, “What would be your top priorities if elected Mayor of Isanti?”
Scott Marshall Elliott:
My most important priorities are developing a true partnership between Isanti’s government and the people it serves, attracting businesses to Isanti, adhering to a proper budget to reduce debt, increasing opportunities for youth and families and streamlining processes.
Respect and cooperation is the foundation of teamwork. Creating teamwork with residents and businesses requires transparent and accountable government, collaboration with local organizations, having an open-door policy to truly listen to everyone’s concerns, and above all, honesty. As a successful business owner I have facilitated teamwork for many years.
A new, comprehensive approach is needed to attract new businesses to Isanti, and sustaining existing ones is equally important. We need to preserve our small-town charm and family-friendly opportunities. I want Isanti to be a place that we are proud of and a destination that people want to visit and move to. This increase in the city’s revenue will decrease all of our property taxes and water bills.
Having and following a straightforward budget is crucial to maintaining trust in our city government. We deserve nothing less. My goal is to get Isanti completely out of debt while keeping a balanced budget.
Isanti needs a teen center for youth to have a healthy place to go, especially during the cold months, and more year-round events for all ages. More jobs also help to keep our younger generations here.
Both employee and citizen input is encouraged for continuous process improvement so our city government provides us the best value. In business, efficiency is expected; Isantians are entitled to it, too. As in my businesses, I will serve Isanti fairly, sincerely, and for the good of all.
I believe that we need to be a community government that is for the people, of the people and by the people. We must preserve our values while being friendly and inviting to our residents and businesses. We must communicate with and support each other, remembering that we are a community for generations.
I promise that I will listen and understand that you are a vital part of any decision made by the city. I am a proven leader in Isanti, working persistently now and will in the future to ensure success for all Isanti citizens.
Top priorities include being proactive in bringing businesses to Isanti, while supporting those businesses who are presently here. I will work to ensure strong stewardship throughout the city. I strive to achieve improvements in our community through my participation with the East Central Regional Development Commission. Serving on their Revolving Loan Fund, I am able to help assist businesses. I will continue to contribute through active participation in the Isanti Area Chamber.
I will continue to work to ensure the best safety, fire and medical services for our citizens. By working with the Highway 65 Coalition and Northern Lights Express Alliance, I will stay informed and able to give input on transportation needs for our community. I have listened and worked with groups using the Community Center, to make sure their needs are met.
I have spent my life dedicated to supporting my community by taking an active role. Being involved in the community through public office allows me to have a positive impact on its citizens. I appreciate your vote and will continue to work hard to help Isanti achieve its goals. Let it be known that Sue is calm and considerate when interacting with others. Concerns, call 763-286-9964.
George Wimmer (Current Mayor):
The city of Isanti has led the state in innovative economic development, recreational expansion, foreclosure management and groundbreaking fiscal policy. As our country and state are suffering under staggering increases in spending, the city of Isanti has the largest fund balances in its history, rapidly reducing debt, multiple upgrades in our credit rating and spending less in 2014 than it did in 2006. We have faced the same issues as all other communities, but we planned well and worked efficiently.
We are focused on growing and diversifying our tax base by bringing in more businesses that provide good jobs and services. I won the prestigious Business Recruitment Award from the Minnesota Economic Development Association for our accomplishments in Isanti. Since becoming mayor our business employment has grown by over 35 percent. We have modernized our infrastructure and made our industrial park “shovel ready.” We have developed numerous economic tools to help new and expanding businesses succeed in Isanti. Residential development is flourishing under our new policies that ensure it will leave no new debt for our community.
The Long Term Financial Plan I created continues to guide us as we make decisions that will impact us for generations. We cut the tremendous amount of debt we inherited from over $2,500 per capita to $486. Taxes have been cut by over 33 percent and our administrative cost are 30 percent less than our peer group of cities. Our city credit rating has been upgraded twice, in my term as mayor, due to our strong financial management and policies. We will continue to invest in public safety improvements that will ensure our community’s family friendly environment. We are efficiently delivering needed government services that make Isanti the best city to live, work and play in. To learn more, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.